The image presents the 9 stages of the fetus in the 9 months of pregnancy. You can guess which one is which as the smallest is the first month and the biggest is the ninth.
First one is up on the left, and in the middle is the second month, on the right is the third. On the second row, there are the fourth, fifth and sixth month. On the last row you can notice the seventh, eighth and ninth month.
In all the drawings of each month, there is the fetus represented standing lied on its back – you can understand it better in the ninth image: feet on the left and the big head on the right.
The pro-birth rate regime of the Ceauşescu era was based on Decree no. 770, promulgated on October 1st 1966 [Reference 1]. In a meeting of the Executive Committee held on August 2nd 1966 a demographical study made by Voinea Marinescu, the Minister of Health at the time, was brought into discussion [Reference 2]. The study showed that the number of abortions that had been carried out in 1965 had reached 1.115.000 [Reference 3]. The number was found to be alarming and, with an expectation for an accelerated growth of the population, on October 1st 1966 the interruption of pregnancy was forbidden by law [Reference 4]. There were some exceptions from this interdiction: if the pregnancy was a result of incest or rape, if one of the parents was the carrier of a serious genetic disease, if the woman was over 45 years of age, if the pregnancy itself brought immediate risk to the mother’s life or if the mother had already given birth to 4 (four) children which she also held in her care [Reference 5].
For a short period of time the law had its expected results and in 1967 birth rates doubled, but after a few years they retracted to those from before the law was put into effect [Reference 6]. Past the momentary effect it had on the birth rate, the Decree had other tragic consequences. Both the number of abandoned children and that of mothers that died after empirical interventions grew [Reference 7].
In the 1980s a celibacy tax was imposed, and women were constrained to undergo regular mandatory gynecological consultations that would find traces of unlawful abortions [Reference 8]. Furthermore, the regime needed healthy children that would ultimately become work-worthy adults. In this sense, children that were born with a handicap were treated like they were animals. The Cighid Recovery and Rehabilitation Center for People with Disabilities was practically an extermination centre where handicapped children lived in inhumane conditions, left to die of hunger and cold [Reference 9].
- Oana Ciuchi, Devianță și criminalitate într-o societate în tranziție, Iași, Editura Lumen, 2011, p. 119.
- Corina Pălășan, ”Caracterul restrictiv al politicii pronataliste în România comunistă”, in Ruxandra Ivan, coord., «Transformarea socialistă». Politici ale regimului comunist între ideologie și administrație, Iași, Editura Polirom, 2009, p. 157.
- Luciana M. Jinga, Gen și reprezentare în România comunistă 1944-1989. Femeile în cadrul Partidului Comunist Român, Iași, Editura Polirom, 2015, p. 139.
- Florin S. Soare, ”Familia, căsătoria și divorțul între ideologia comunistă și pronatalism”, în Florin S. Soare, coord., Politică și societate în epoca Ceaușescu, Iași, Editura Polirom, 2013, p. 158.
- Corina Pălășan, op. cit., p. 157.
- Gail Kligman, The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania, Berkeley, University of California Press, p. 299.
- Corneliu Dragomir, Rememorări ale vieţii cotidiene din timpul comunismului într-un oraş provincial. Studiu de caz: Drobeta Turnu Severin, Iași, Editura Lumen, 2009, p. 276.
- Constantin Stoenescu, Liviu Teodorescu, Ovidiu Mihăescu, Sistemul de protecție specială a persoanelor cu handicap din România, Editura All Beck, 2003, p. 300.